What causes tight hamstrings?
There’s 3 muscles that make up the hamstring muscles. These muscles start at the pelvis, at the sit bones and they run down the back of the thighs and insert on the top of the lower leg bones. Your hamstrings get stretched by pulling the pelvis away from the lower leg. It’s important to note that ankle position does not matter in a true hamstring stretch.
The sciatic nerve is the biggest nerve in the body, and starts in the lower back, runs down the back of the thighs between the hamstrings and continues through the calf to the bottom of the foot. Because the nerve continues to the bottom of the feet, feet flexed is the position that puts the nerve on stretch.
It’s important to figure out if your nerves or hamstrings are the problem for feelings of tightness. In class we have a variation of postures with flexed feet and pointed toes. This allows us to work through BOTH hamstring stretches as well as sciatic nerve ’stretching’.
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